Yes. You need to hire an SEO Consultant if you are not satisfied with your SEO results, do not have SEO resources or no longer have the time to do SEO yourself.
In this blog post, I am going to detail 8 different scenarios and help you make a sound decision whether to invest in an SEO Consultant or not. Skip to the scenario that best describes you below.
- I haven’t tried SEO before, but I read a lot about SEO and I know it’s important
- I’ve personally tried SEO before, but I thought it’s time consuming and hard
- I’m currently doing SEO, but I haven’t witnessed any tangible results
- My Web Developer/Web Designer/Copywriter/Blogger helps with SEO, but it’s basic
- I hired a cheap SEO Freelancer before, but I’m not sure what they did
- I’ve hired an SEO Agency before, but the investment was high with minimal returns
- I have an inhouse SEO employee, but they are junior and need some help
- I’ve tried everything about SEO, but I still need guidance and direction
Of course, if you are looking to improve your website’s ranking or organic traffic, you sure need to choose your battles. You’ve spent money already, and I am sure your goal is to achieve long-term and sustainable results.
Let’s dive in.
But before you do, since we’re speaking about long term and sustainable results, it’s worth mentioning this fact about me. As a Digital Marketer who has worked on numerous social media and Google Ads campaigns, I have struggled to make them work for the long term. This is due to the following reasons:
- When you stop running social ads, traffic to your website stops instantly.
- Social ads are not search based, so the people who are exposed to your ads are not necessarily looking to buy your products or services, rather bump into them via some criteria mainly related to interests or pixels.
- Social media algorithms keep changing, and no one can predict what’s going to happen next or how to solve an algorithm issue immediately. This is costly.
- Google Ads are highly dependent on bidding, and to add fuel to fire, Google Ads is now moving towards smart and automated bidding, something we no longer have control over like before.
I read a lot about SEO and I know it is important
Just like tens of thousands of people around the world, you’ve probably never done any SEO work before. But you are aware enough of it. At some point, you’ve been in one or all of these situations:
- googling what SEO is
- reading articles and watching videos on Youtube about SEO
- following enough SEOs on social media
- upskilling or taking courses on SEO
- And above all, you are convinced it’s important
You are not alone, actually as we speak, globally, there are on average 76,000 searches per month for the query “what is SEO”.
These efforts you’ve already implemented, despite not starting with SEO yet, are never wasted, and you should be proud that you are well-equipped with enough resources and surrounded with enough people in the SEO industry that are building your knowledge.
DIY SEO or Hire an SEO Consultant?
What is missing perhaps is putting this knowledge into practice. But while you’re here, you could be questioning if you take that step and start practicing SEO recreationally, or go for the option of hiring an SEO specialist to do it professionally.
If you ask me, I would definitely be happy to be hired by you to do your SEO, but I won’t be pushy, why not take a 90-day journey to practice SEO on a test website, or if you’re bold enough on your own business website?
What’s the worst that could happen? You already do not rank, so if you do SEO mistakes on a website that doesn’t rank is not as catastrophic as when you do bad SEO on a website that is already ranking and driving traffic. Of course not doing anything is better than doing bad SEO (or black hat SEO), but still, you can’t ruin your SEO if you don’t rank at all.
It’s your call, but before you make a decision to hire an SEO specialist (or me), and before I tell you about the benefits of hiring me, I would definitely ask you to try doing SEO yourself for 90 days.
During those 90 days, you can sign up for an SEO mentor to coach you on doing SEO professionally.
SEO is time consuming and hard
Right, so you’ve tried SEO, invested hours and hours of applying what you’ve learned already, but now you’re facing a new problem: lack of time to complete all SEO tasks, or your main work.
As a startup founder and co-founder, you enjoy some autonomy, you are a natural self-starter and love to juggle many balls at the same time. That’s great of course, but you’re always running out of time, and you always remind yourself that you’re an entrepreneur not an SEO specialist.
What makes it worse is that you find yourself beating your head against the wall trying to figure out what SEO task you should prioritise and which one has more impact on your rankings and organic traffic.
You’ve tried some free SEO tools, between keyword research and AI, you feel something is not adding up. SEO is so complicated, and the algorithm updates are not helping either. You always have to catch up to new tricks and tactics, but you know very well that SEO is a long-term project.
Quit SEO or Hire an SEO Consultant?
You are tempted with other marketing channels (social media, google ads, email marketing, ProductHunt, reddit) that generate faster leads with higher conversion rates. You are now seriously thinking of whether to ditch SEO and focus on something else, or hire an SEO Consultant.
Your budget is running out as well, and you are witnessing great results with cheaper options.
You’ve decided to quit SEO, or pause it for a while, until you figure out a better solution.
I haven’t witnessed any tangible SEO results
Back to the drawing board, but now, you’re more knowledgeable about SEO, because you’ve tried it.
You spot SEO tweets everywhere, LinkedIn SEOs send you connect requests, and Link Builders are ambushing your email inbox.
On reddit, threads and threads about SEO, so you skip to ProductHunt and discover many SaaS founders are creating more SEO tools that make your life easier.
Also, you know for a fact that quick wins don’t last long enough (Google Ads clicks stop instantly when you stop paying), and ignoring SEO is not an option.
You’re always reminded to think about the long term results and goals. You decided not to give up on SEO, but this time you’re persistent on achieving results.
So, you are seriously considering investing in a professional SEO specialist to free up some of your valuable time, and scrap some complicated tasks that others can handle way better.
If you are at this stage, I think it’s time to have a serious chat with an SEO Consultant.
An SEO Consultant can also help you with a live SEO Audit to discuss what went wrong and why the results were unsatisfactory.
Non-SEOs are helping you with SEO
If you already have a website, chances are you’ve either hired a web developer, web designer or a web editor to create it for you. If that is the case, and you haven’t created your website on your own, then you probably are also using the above non-SEOs services to help you with SEO.
While I am not saying they can’t do a great job, but they are more likely busy with their core services (web development, web design, or writing) that they find little time to perform a complete SEO job for you.
You will face problems with SEO when non-SEOs are handling it. They just can’t focus on all aspect of SEO because a designer and a writer could lack coding skills, and a developer could hate writing or design, and a writer could perform excellent on-page SEO but lacks skills with Technical SEO.
You know very well that they can’t be perfect in everything they do. If you are at this stage, you probably need to think seriously of speaking to an SEO consultant.
I’m not saying that SEO consultant will do the SEO work for you, but you can hire an SEO consultant to train your non-SEOs on how to do SEO professionally at a budget and in parallel with your core work. It’s a one-off investment and bridges the gaps your non-SEO team are facing.
You can also hire an SEO consultant to do a live SEO audit to your website, and see together where you can improve and what needs to be done to better your SEO.
Cheap SEO Freelancers, what do they do?
You read somewhere that Upwork and Fiverr are great to hire freelancers cheaply, and were tempted to hire a cheap SEO freelancer. You messaged a bunch of SEO freelancers randomly, not knowing what each one does exactly, in hopes of finding some quick wins. Disappointment.
At times, you felt so confused of what SEO is, and why most Upwork and Fiverr SEO freelancers are link sellers. That’s what’s really cheap about it all. Link building is the last thing you need to do if you’re hiring on Upwork or Fiverr. They sell you cheap backlinks from websites that don’t even have a name or structure. Stay away from those people.
In fact, you’ll spend money on nothing. You will get backlinks that contribute zero to your SEO. There’s a rule of thumb here, any backlink that drives zero traffic to your website is useless. While it may improve your website authority, but soon enough you’ll notice that you paid money for nothing.
I am not saying that SEO is costly, in fact cheap SEO is even costlier than doing no SEO.
Think twice before hiring cheaply, and always discuss your next SEO move with an SEO consultant.
SEO Agency – Cost vs ROI
If you are on this crossroad, where you need to hire a professional SEO agency, there are two things you need to know:
Starting with ROI, you need to discuss your needs and goals from SEO. You should find out if the SEO agency can commit to what they promise.
If they promise you links, run, if they promise you ranking, traffic and leads, investigate more about these.
Here are 3 questions you need to ask an SEO agency that promises ranking, traffic and leads:
- Do they rank for blog posts?
- If they rank both, who’s going to write the blog posts?
- If they offered to write the blog posts, what’s their content strategy and why they went that route?
You need to understand from their answers above if they got the vision, time, and budget to pursue this route.
Stuffing blog posts with random keywords and weak content will not get you qualified leads.
Which brings me to the second point, cost.
If you want an objective advice and my honest opinion, I would suggest you pay for an SEO strategy. This includes their vision for the next 12 months:
- what blog topics they are going to write
- keywords and queries they will rank exactly for, and
- type of leads mapped to each blog post and page (top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel).
It is worth paying for that SEO document, audit, strategy. It gives you an idea of where you’re heading in the next 12 months.
Better invest in a £100 SEO audit or £500-1,000 SEO strategy and know where you’re heading, than paying £18,000-£24,000 per year on bad SEO that gets you nowhere.
Yes, an SEO agency is not a cheap option. But if they are professional and confident enough they can provide a solid ROI and get you results, it’s worth every penny.
I got an inhouse SEO employee, Do I need to hire an SEO Consultant?
Hiring an SEO employee for your startup or small business is a big challenge. Most startups and small businesses are tight on budgets. They allocate most of it to sales, tools, or product development. Hiring an SEO specialist will solve many problems you have, but it will drain you before you see solid results.
If you do not have the budget (£35,000-£60,000) to hire a good SEO manager or specialist, do not hire.
I would ask you to invest a fraction of this budget on an entry level full-time marketer who is hungry to learn about SEO from an experienced SEO consultant.
Tried everything about SEO
If you are at this stage already, you’ve probably tried everything to make SEO work. But still haven’t witnessed the desired results. I know how frustrating it is to try all of the above, waste money, and reach nowhere.
At this stage, you probably need to sit with an SEO consultant to regain or rebuild your trust in SEO. You need to understand what went wrong and what should be done to make SEO work. You are a firm believer in SEO, and you’ve seen it work for many other businesses. You’ve read many case studies and success stories from fellow startups and small businesses.
You know SEO works, but you probably didn’t discover why hire an SEO consultant.
We need to talk about SEO as soon as possible.
Why Hire an SEO Consultant
My name is Taleb Kabbara, I’ve been doing social and digital marketer since 2011. I worked in 4 different countries (UK, UAE, KSA, and Lebanon), with multinational agencies (Leo Burnett) and big brands (McDonald’s). I also worked with smaller agencies and as a Consultant for the past 7 years.
In 2020 I took a bold decision to shift completely into SEO. I’ve tinkered and dabbled with SEO for quite few years now. I’ve used my marketing skills and experience to understand why and how SEO solves most if not all marketing problems.
I currently handle more than 15 different SEO projects in different industries (industrial, B2B, B2C, ecommerce). I also worked on SEO for WordPress (including WooCommerce) and Shopify among other website builders.
How I can help you achieve your SEO goals
There are 5 ways I can help you achieve your SEO goals:
- Excellent understanding of how businesses work, I run my own for the past 7 years.
- Knowledge of marketing theory and practice, so I’m not limited to a narrow scope of SEO.
- Experience in 2 continents, and handled SEO clients in 4 continents (North America, Australia, Europe, Asia).
- Learned from my own SEO mistakes as I test and fail daily on my personal websites.
- I usually don’t use the word I a lot (except in this section), my LinkedIn Profile says it all, it’s all about you and your needs and goals.